gray scissors on dry leaves

Books I’m Thankful For: Leven Thumps

Sooo… I’ve been unexpectedly MIA this week. I’m sorry about that, I got a little stressed out with the holiday coming up (Thanksgiving) and it triggered a flare up. So I was out of action for part of the week, unfortunately. And the time I did have was spent cleaning and prepping for Thanksgiving or doing family stuff. So yeah, those are my excuses for not posting basically at all this week.

But I’m rectifying it now. This is my Thanksgiving post, Books I’m Thankful For, and it’s something that I started last year. Speaking of which, my BITF post of 2022 was a soliloquy about the series that got me into reading – The Magic Treehouse series. This year I’m gonna do something slightly less impactful but no less thankful for – the Leven Thumps series by Robert Skye.

The Leven Thumps series by Obert Skye

My journey with this series began in 2006 on my birthday. I got the first book Leven Thumps and the Gateway to Foo as one of my birthday gifts. (The other one was another book, but I can’t for the life of me remember what it is. I guess that shows which book ended up being more important to me, lol.) I read it, fell in love with the sketch style art within, and was frothing at the mouth for more.

Then, mere weeks later I saw the sequel, Leven Thumps and the Whispered Secret, at Borders and immediately picked it up. And thus, I was hooked on the series. I then waited every year for each release, eagerly anticipating the next three books. And I was never disappointed.

These books were here with their weird plots and great humor whenever I needed to be cheered up, and they fostered a unique brand of creativity within me, encouraging me to think outside the box when coming up with ideas. I read and reread these novels so many times I’ve lost count. I also buddy read them with at least one friend, and we adored them. The story, the world, the characters – all of it.

This is a series that will always be in my heart, and I absolutely have to give a hearty recommendation for. They have weird but unique plots, imaginative rich worlds, and are generally just fun. I’ll always remember Leven and his friends’ adventures very, very fondly. I’m so thankful for this series I don’t have enough words.

(Before I close off, I will say that these books are definitely not perfect. The world building has a ton of issues, but I liked the writing and most of everything else so I was kind of able to turn off my brain and enjoy it. Plus, I was like 10 or 11 when I first read it, and I honestly didn’t care that much about any of that stuff until several years later in college. I just wanted to enjoy the story and characters. I will say, though, that there were some plot points and character motivations that were that were never addressed properly by series end, which I did find a little irritating.)

(This is also definitely geared towards kids and I probably wouldn’t have enjoyed this too much as an adult, had I read it for the first time now. The protagonists aren’t very active in the first book, which is also a problem, but I kind of let the magic and whimsy carry me through that one. (Also, Leven’s powers are poorly defined and never mean or amount to anything in the first couple of books, unless the plot needed something to happen and this has always bothered me.) (Book four is the best, BTW.))

So yeah, I know it’s extraordinarily late, but Happy Thanksgiving 🦃🥧 to everyone and anyone who celebrates it! I hope you all enjoyed good food with the ones you love.

What books are you thankful for? What are your favorite novels?

Thank you for reading. I’m always so thankful that anyone reads or follows my little blog at all. I hope you have a wonderful day/night!

See ya ~Mar

Weekly Wrap-Up: 10/30 – 11/5

And we’ve finally hit November. Well, almost a week ago, technically – but the last weekly wrap-up was in October completely, so yeah.

I think I’ve been decently consistent with my posting over the past week, though I haven’t been reading as much as I might’ve liked. I dunno why really, last week was a little bit busy with Halloween, and then I had hardly any free time this weekend. So that’s probably why.

Anyway, let’s get into it.

Last Tuesday, I finally uploaded my review for The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman. A perfect little ghost story for Halloween. I gave it ★★★✯☆.

Tuesday also happened to be Halloween. So here’s a belated Happy Halloween🎃👻🐈‍⬛🕸️💀🦇 to everybody who missed the post!

My review of The Graveyard Book

Wednesday 11/1: October 2023 Reading Wrap-Up

On Wednesday, I posted my reading wrap-up for October 2023. To anyone who doesn’t know, it’s when I go over my StoryGraph stats. For the first time ever, I’m pretty sure I actually posted it on the first of the month!

Monthly Wrap-Up: October 2023

Friday 11/3: Lightlark Review

Last Friday, I posted my review for Lightlark by Alex Aster. A somewhat controversial YA fantasy novel that was released last year, that I finally decided to read, just in time for the sequel. I gave it ★★✬☆☆.

My review of Lightlark

Sunday 11/5: Spell November in Books

Yesterday, I posted my contribution to Spell the Month in Books. (I know, it was a day late. Shut up.) Spell the Month in Books is a monthly post created and hosted by Jana @ Reviews from the Stacks.

Spell the Month in Books: November 2023

Books I Read Last Week

Lightlark by Alex Aster

🎁💖 Wrapping It All Up 🎁💖

So, even though last week wasn’t nearly as productive as I had wanted it to be, I’m still happy with what I got done, for once. This coming week, however, I’m definitely aiming to do way better.

Concerning books on my TBR, I’m gonna start reading Nightbane by Alex Aster as soon as it goes live on Kindle eReaders. Then I’m probably gonna read Emily Wilde’s Encyclopedia of Faeries by Heather Fawcett – one of the books I got from my book haul this past weekend. I’m also planning on starting the second arc of One Piece sometime this week.

I don’t really know what else I’m gonna do this week. The only thing that I’m sure about is getting some of the ingredients for stuff I’m planning to make for Thanksgiving. I like to shop early for this holiday – we’re also gonna get almost all of our groceries for the next two weeks this weekend – because the grocery stores (and Walmart) are freaking insane the week of Thanksgiving. And I don’t want to get caught up in that.

So yeah, I hope to both read and post better this coming week. 🤞🍀 Thanks so much for reading, and I hope you have an excellent day/night!

See ya ~Mar

Spell the Month in Books: November 2023

Guess who crashed again last night?

Spell the Month in Books is a monthly post created and hosted by Jana @ Reviews from the Stacks. I started participating in it a few months ago. It’s typically a Saturday post (as I might have mentioned above), but let’s all agree the Mar had a busy day yesterday and maybe, accidentally fell asleep before they could post.

So yeah, it’s November! Yay! The month where fall intensifies 🍂 and the holiday season begins 🎶 and everyone is cooking 🥘 up a storm whether it’s for Thanksgiving 🦃 or baking something 🥧.

Without further ado, let’s spell November with book titles!


N

Nightbane by Alex Aster

Nightbane

AUTHOR: Alex Aster

RELEASE DATE: 7 November 2023

BOOK DESCRIPTION:

The seductive and action-packed follow-up to Alex Aster’s instant #1 New York Times, #1 Wall Street Journal, and internationally bestselling novel, Lightlark.

Isla Crown has secured the love of two powerful rulers and broken the curses that plagued the six realms for centuries, but few know the true origins of her powers. Now, in the wake of a crushing betrayal, Isla finds herself hungry for distraction, preferring to frequent Lightlark’s seductive haunts instead of embracing her duties as the newly crowned leader of two separate realms. Worse, her fellow rulers haven’t ceded victory quietly, and there are others in Isla’s midst who don’t believe her ascent to power was earned. As certain death races toward Lightlark and secrets from the past begin to unravel, Isla must weigh her responsibility to her people against the whims of the most dangerous traitor of all: her heart.

Alex Aster’s intricate world expands after the riveting culmination of the Centennial games, delving more deeply into Isla’s memories of her past, as her future hurtles toward two possible fates.

O

Once Upon a Broken Heart by Stephanie Garber

Once Upon a Broken Heart

AUTHOR: Stephanie Garber

RELEASE DATE: 28 September 2021

BOOK DESCRIPTION:

Once Upon a Broken Heart marks the launch of a new series about love, curses, and the lengths that people will go to for happily ever after from Stephanie Garber, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Caraval.

For as long as she can remember, Evangeline Fox has believed in true love and happy endings…until she learns that the love of her life will marry another.

Desperate to stop the wedding and to heal her wounded heart, Evangeline strikes a deal with the charismatic, but wicked, Prince of Hearts. In exchange for his help, he asks for three kisses, to be given at the time and place of his choosing.

But after Evangeline’s first promised kiss, she learns that bargaining with an immortal is a dangerous game — and that the Prince of Hearts wants far more from her than she’d pledged. He has plans for Evangeline, plans that will either end in the greatest happily ever after, or the most exquisite tragedy…

My review of Once Upon a Broken Heart

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The Village Healer's Book of Cures by Jennifer Sherman Roberts

Village Healer’s Book of Cures, The

AUTHOR: Jennifer Sherman Roberts

RELEASE DATE: 1 November 2023

BOOK DESCRIPTION:

In seventeenth-century England, a female healer enflames the fury of a witchfinder in this propulsive novel about murder, revenge, and the dangerous power of knowledge.

Mary Fawcett refines the healing recipes she’s inherited from generations of women before her―an uncanny and moral calling to empathize with the sick. When witchfinder Matthew Hopkins arrives in her small village, stoking the fires of hate, he sees not healing but the devil at work. Mary’s benevolent skills have now cast her and her young brother under suspicion of witchery.

Soon, the husband of one of Mary’s patients is found murdered, his body carved with strange symbols. For Hopkins, it’s further evidence of dark arts. When the whispering village turns against her, Mary dares to trust a stranger: an enigmatic alchemist, scarred body and soul, who knows the dead man’s secrets.

As Hopkins’s fervor escalates, Mary must outsmart the devil himself to save her life and the lives of those she loves. Unfolding the true potential of her gifts could make Mary a more empowered adversary than a witchfinder ever feared.

E

Exit Strategy by Martha Wells

Exit Strategy

AUTHOR: Martha Wells

RELEASE DATE: 2 October 2018

BOOK DESCRIPTION:

Murderbot wasn’t programmed to care. So, its decision to help the only human who ever showed it respect must be a system glitch, right?

Having traveled the width of the galaxy to unearth details of its own murderous transgressions, as well as those of the GrayCris Corporation, Murderbot is heading home to help Dr. Mensah—its former owner (protector? friend?)—submit evidence that could prevent GrayCris from destroying more colonists in its never-ending quest for profit.

But who’s going to believe a SecUnit gone rogue?

And what will become of it when it’s caught?

My review of The Murderbot Diaries

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Masters of Death by Olivie Blake

Masters of Death

AUTHOR: Olivie Blake

RELEASE DATE: 8 August 2023

BOOK DESCRIPTION:

From Olivie Blake, the New York Times bestselling author of The Atlas Six comes Masters of Death, a story about vampires, ghosts, and death itself!

Viola Marek is a struggling real estate agent, and a vampire. But her biggest problem currently is that the house she needs to sell is haunted. The ghost haunting the house has been murdered, and until he can solve the mystery of how he died, he refuses to move on.

Fox D’Mora is a medium, and though is also most-definitely a shameless fraud, he isn’t entirely without his uses—seeing as he’s actually the godson of Death.

When Viola seeks out Fox to help her with her ghost-infested mansion, he becomes inextricably involved in a quest that neither he nor Vi expects (or wants). But with the help of an unruly poltergeist, a demonic personal trainer, a sharp-voiced angel, a love-stricken reaper, and a few high-functioning creatures, Vi and Fox soon discover the difference between a mysterious lost love and an annoying dead body isn’t nearly as distinct as they thought.

My review of Masters of Death

B

Blood & Honey by Shelby Mahurin

Blood & Honey

AUTHOR: Shelby Mahurin

RELEASE DATE: 1 September 2020

BOOK DESCRIPTION:

The hotly anticipated sequel to the New York Times and IndieBound bestseller Serpent & Dove—packed with even steamier romance and darker magic—is perfect for fans of Sarah J. Maas.

After narrowly escaping death at the hands of the Dames Blanches, Lou, Reid, Coco, and Ansel are on the run from coven, kingdom, and church—fugitives with nowhere to hide.

To elude the scores of witches and throngs of chasseurs at their heels, Lou and Reid need allies. Strong ones. But protection comes at a price, and the group is forced to embark on separate quests to build their forces. As Lou and Reid try to close the widening rift between them, the dastardly Morgane baits them in a lethal game of cat and mouse that threatens to destroy something worth more than any coven.

My review of Blood & Honey

E

Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine

Ella Enchanted

AUTHOR: Gail Carson Levine

RELEASE DATE: 30 April 1997

BOOK DESCRIPTION:

This beloved Newbery Honor-winning story about a feisty heroine is sure to enchant readers new and old. 

At her birth, Ella of Frell receives a foolish fairy’s gift—the “gift” of obedience. Ella must obey any order, whether it’s to hop on one foot for a day and a half, or to chop off her own head! But strong-willed Ella does not accept her fate…

Against a bold backdrop of princes, ogres, giants, wicked stepsisters, and fairy godmothers, Ella goes on a quest to break the curse forever.

A tween favorite for 25 years—now shared with today’s young readers by moms, teachers, and other adults who remember the pleasure of discovering this fun fairy-tale retelling themselves!

R

The Ruthless Lady's Guide the Wizardry by C.M. Waggoner

Ruthless Lady’s Guide to Wizardry, The

AUTHOR: C.M. Waggoner

RELEASE DATE: 12 January 2021

BOOK DESCRIPTION:

Sparks fly in this enchanting fantasy novel from the author of Unnatural Magic when a down-and-out fire witch and a young gentlewoman join forces against a deadly conspiracy.

Dellaria Wells, petty con artist, occasional thief, and partly educated fire witch, is behind on her rent in the city of Leiscourt–again. Then she sees the “wanted” sign, seeking Female Persons, of Martial or Magical ability, to guard a Lady of some Importance, prior to the celebration of her Marriage. Delly fast-talks her way into the job and joins a team of highly peculiar women tasked with protecting their wealthy charge from unknown assassins. 

Delly quickly sets her sights on one of her companions, the confident and well-bred Winn Cynallum. The job looks like nothing but romance and easy money until things take a deadly (and undead) turn. With the help of a bird-loving necromancer, a shapeshifting schoolgirl, and an ill-tempered reanimated mouse named Buttons, Delly and Winn are determined to get the best of an adversary who wields a twisted magic and has friends in the highest of places.


What books have you been reading lately? Have you been reading any with an autumnal theme? What have you thought of them?

Thanks again for reading, and have an amazing day/night!

See ya ~Mar